Monday, June 2, 2014

Stone & Brush Guard

The LATEST UPGRADE: Body Protection

Ranch Hand builds a good product. Their bumpers are available in the southern USA (Texas, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Montana), and also Alberta, Canada but, up here, you have to search around.

I had a custom built brush & stone guard made in Ontario just prior to an earlier trip north (1994) with an older 1994 Ford F350 diesel & a 1988 Maple Leaf camper. When we returned from that trip, after 20000 + kms and a lot of it on loose gravel roads, we had ....  a cracked windshield, the drivers side mirror and no-draft glass were both smashed and the campers rear entry door glass was cracked ... all from flying clouds of gravel. The face of that bumper was so badly marked with stone damage that, I know, had I not installed it, we would probably have lost an oil or transmission cooler, a radiator and possibly a headlight or two.

Here's the 2014 version of that old custom bumper that we designed. (Note: 20 years later, different truck but same license plate and same canoe)

This new one, is a Ranch Hand product installed by Auto Trim Design in Billings, Montana. I'll modify this one a bit more to protect the headlight and fog lamp lenses. I'll 'bulletproof' the front end even more by scoring and repainting the stock chrome bumper and then spray-stoneguarding the front grill, brush guard and bumper. Stone-guarding works well to protect a vehicles surfaces from abrasion, rusting, fading and stone damage.

All in preparation for next year ... a planned 'Six Months In The North 2015: Focus Yukon, NWT & Alaska'.

A full upgrade that also included replacing the stock bumper completely is also available from Ranchand, but out of my price range.

Crusty ... reporting.

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